Tag Archives: Headphones

Thrustmaster Y-350X 7.1 Doom Edition headset review

In order to hear the full effect of the gloriously gory sounds of punching, dismembering and shooting the copious amounts of demons in Doom, a headset is recommended, and seems Thrustmasters agrees with that sentiment and have produced the Y-350X 7.1 Doom Edition headset. And with its highly competitive price point of £129.99, can this headset provide the quality we desire in a more wallet friendly package to the likes of Astro and Turtlebeach?

After tearing through the box – with specification breakdowns, Doom’s Revenant demon, and some pleasant shots of the headset itself adorning the packaging – the black plastic of the headset reveals itself, with its scattering of etched white scratches and the Doom and Thrustmaster logos. Its round brown speaker cushions begging to rest against your ears, and the brown cushion on the headband poised to rest comfortably upon your head. The detachable power pack and Xbox One controller puck sport the same black and brown colour scheme, with clearly ladled buttons on the puck allowing for the mic, voice feedback, and 7.1 to be activated and disabled, as well as the ability to switch between game, chat and bass volume controls. It only gets better once these are plugged in and green and orange lights dictate the volume level. It’s certainly an attractive headset.

Doom headset 1

However, minimal documentation can leave you wanting. It’s fairly intuitive to setup and use but when problems occur it’s off to the online documentation for answers and that too is on the small side. And unfortunately we did encounter some problems with the initial setup, with the puck not responding and only finally coming to life after unplugging it and plugging it back in to the controller several times. These issues persisted with different controllers and with the initial setup over multiple gaming sessions, however, once we were up and running the headset’s quality truly started to shine.

The bass is simply remarkable, with exceptional crispness and range across the low frequencies and terrific enhancement to its treble counterpart at the high end.  The 60mm drivers deliver loud, high quality sound that’s a delight to experience. Activate the 7.1 mode and the sound is enhanced further, providing you with brilliant directional audio feedback. However, the 7.1 is virtually simulated rather than the real thing, and its source is stereo as opposed to the Astro A50 5.1 source to 7.1 virtually delivery. It therefore doesn’t quite live up to the A50’s in this area, but its mighty close.

Doom headset 2

However, this is a £130 headset as opposed to Astro’s £250 equivalent, and the sound quality it delivers despite the lower price point is exceptional. Furthermore, the mic also provides crisp, clear voice, although its bare plastic does mean it’s highly sensitive to wind and breath sounds. We also found that long sessions with the round speaker cushions do end up hurting your ears.

The Y-350X 7.1 Doom Edition headset achieves tremendous sound quality in both its speaker delivery and mic input, making it a very competitive product against any of the high-end headsets currently on the market. And with its low price point it’s a bargain. However, it gets uncomfortable to wear over longer gaming sessions, picks up breath sounds very easily, and occasionally fights against the Xbox One controller. Mind you, its impressive scope of compatibility, with it working terrifically on PC, smartphones and PS4 makes, this a flexible headset that’s ideal if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution –  although the 7.1 functionality is restricted to the Xbox One through the puck. Indeed then, it’s easy to recommend the Y-350X 7.1 Doom Edition headset.

Thanks to Xbox and Thrustmaster for supporting TiX

Playsonic Alpha headset review

The gaming headset industry is a minefield of various makes, types, and ultimately quality. There are headsets available for all budgets, tastes, sound type, and much more, and getting the right headset for you can be an absolute nightmare.

Personally, when researching headsets, there are three criteria I tend to look at: comfort, sound quality, and microphone quality. Comfort-wise, you really can’t fault the Playsonic Alphas. They have a well padded head-band, and the single, over-ear cup is well cushioned and stays comfortable over long periods of play. I wear glasses when playing, so it’s important for me to find a headset which doesn’t result in the arms of my glasses being embedded into the side of my head, and I can safely say, this did not happen with the Playsonic Alphas.

The sound quality is also excellent, with a great range of bass, mid, and treble tones, which are perfectly balanced. Despite being a single-cup headset, I was still able to pin point enemies around me with ease. The benefit of a single-cup headset is that you are still aware of your personal surroundings, leaving you able to play easily, but also be able to listen out for spouses shouting at you to come off the game at 1am.

PlaySonic-Alpha-Mono-Chat-Headset2

Unfortunately, the microphone really lets the headset down. I tried various configurations to try and get the best sound possible, but all resulted in an incredibly quiet, muffled, or broken sound. I first tried plugging the headset directly into the 3.5mm jack on my Xbox One controller, but without having to eat the microphone, my team mates found it incredibly hard to hear me. I even removed the microphone boom cover to see if that helped, but the difference was negligible. Secondly, I tried plugging the headset into my chat adapter, which connects to the base of the Xbox One controller. This improved my voice somewhat, but it was still hard for my friends to hear me as quite often my voice would cut out, and usually at suboptimal times during the game.

EDITORS NOTE: We spoke to Priftech about this, they shared the following link to show the how the sound from the microphone should be when plugged directly into a phone, there is a chance Xbox Live could have caused the problem, other members of the team using headsets such as Astros can be awfully quiet for no reason – we have seen other reviews that suggest the microphone works well so we may have been unlucky.

The build quality of the Playsonic Alpha is pretty solid considering the price. I’ve tried a few budget headsets which all felt poorly constructed, and as if they’d fall apart after a short while. The Playsonic Alphas feel strong, and as though they would last a long time.

The Playsonic Alphas also features in-line volume controls, which make is easy to control the volume as and when required. The microphone is also fully detachable, so if you wish to use them just to listen to music or game audio, you don’t have to worry about moving the microphone out of the way to do so.

The Playsonic Alpha Wired Mono Headset is from the lower-end of the budget range, available from Priftech on Amazon for £19.99, and whilst they provide a great listening experience, the poor microphone hold it back significantly.

Thanks to Xbox and Priftech for supporting TiX